As soon as Apple releases a new iPhone, the rumour mill swiftly turns its attention to what the Californian giant is likely to come up with next. Some of those ideas are simply outlandish – there has been persistent talk of illuminating the Apple logo to alert to incoming calls and messages – while others get dismissed at the time but come true later on – removing the headphone jack was laughed at a good while ago but, ta da, there it is (or isn’t, actually) today. You could go as far as saying there’s a cottage industry in second-guessing Apple’s intention for its most important and innovative product to date. But those rumours are in overdrive right now because the iPhone is celebrating its ten-year anniversary in 2017 and, as such, there’s is a strong expectation that Apple is going to pull out all the stops to produce the best handset it has ever made – even though Tim Cook claims such a thing each and every year. Top of the list for most pundits is a design overhaul. The iPhone made its debut on 29 June 2007 as a 3.5-inch device with a metal rear casing. A year later, the iPhone 3G replaced it and heralded a cheaper, plastic rear. From that point, a stark pattern emerged. The iPhone 4 heralded a new design and the 4S looked the same. Likewise, the 5 and 5S, and the 6 and 6S. But the iPhone 7 cut that dead. It looked nearidentical to the 6S. It points to Apple saving a new look to mark Year Ten. But what? Perhaps it will have a screen across its whole front, removing the bezel. Maybe it will use curved wraparound glass. Could it go with an OLED display? All of these are, of course, guesses, although we’d wager that it’ll be lighter and thinner. These things always are. We’d also expect that the handsets will come in at least two sizes. Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis reckons a five-inch iPhone 8 and a 5.8-inch 8 Plus are on the cards and given he correctly figured 3D Touch technology would be present the iPhone 6S, there may be some truth in that. Even so, you should see something special. Ten years is a long time in tech and that’s an achievement worth celebrating. Knowing Apple, it won’t pass up on the opportunity to make a statement. Android handsets (when they’re not exploding) have caught up fast and the iPhone needs to gain some distance again. One thing’s for sure, the iPhone can’t simply rely on a better camera, and faster processor this time and it must roll out the groundbreaking features Apple fans believe were held back this time around.
“ the iPhone can’t rely on a better camera this time”
10 YEARS OF THE iPHONE
2007 Effectively kickstarting the smartphone revolution, the first iPhone introduced a capacitive touchscreen
2008 Apple’s second phone was actually called the iPhone 3G, due to its improved connectivity.
2009 Along with a speedier processor and a 3MP camera, the 3GS included push notification and MMS.
2010 A redesign made for a less comfortable feel but the iPhone 4 was a thing of beauty
2011 The 4S brought an 8MP camera, iOS 5 as well as the Notification Centre, Siri, iMessage and overthe-air update
2012 Ther iPhone 5 turned heads. Apple Maps arrived and Facebook was integrate
2013 Apple added new colours fo the 5S but it was the Touch ID fingerprint sensor which added that ‘wow factor’The iPhone 5C added lots of bold body colours. Both it and the 5S were launched alongside the completely refreshed iOS 7
2014 Up went the size again and this time the newly-designed iPhone 6 was accompanied by an even larger big brother
2015 The iPhone 6S added 3D Touch displays for app shortcuts, a News app, and an enhanced Passbook app
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE?
Glass would be class
If Apple, as expected, drops the iPhone’s aluminium body then we’d miss the confusion when British Jonny Ive causes when he tries to pronounce the word. But we would certainly welcome a return of the glass body seen in the iPhone 4
Getting wired for wireless
Each year, pundits suggest that Apple will abandon wired chargers in favour of longer-range wireless charging. Bloomberg reports the company is working with partners in America and Asia on technology that doesn’t rely on charging mats.
Olé to OLED
Rumours suggest that Apple will adopt an OLED display for at least one of the iPhone 8 models, most likely the Plus. It seemed to be confirmed by Sharp’s CEO Tai Jeng-wu and it would make for better black levels, contrast ratios and brightness uniformity.
Calling time on Home
The physical Home button has been staple of the iPhone’s design and function since the day it was born. However, will Apple put it out to pasture in favour of a virtual button? If the screen stretches edge-to-edge, then perhaps it will.